Portland, Ore. Former Kansas University basketball guard Kevin Pritchard has been named the Portland Trail Blazers' general manager.
"I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity," Pritchard said Thursday. "I feel like we have some traction, and we have a chance to do something very special."
Interim Blazers president Tod Leiweke interviewed Pritchard last week and offered him the job Thursday. Pritchard agreed to a five-year contract.
Pritchard, 39, joined the Trail Blazers nearly three years ago in a player-personnel capacity and has developed a strong reputation with ownership and around the NBA. He was promoted to assistant general manager in spring 2006.
Previously, he worked as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and was a coach with the ABA's Kansas City Knights. He played collegiately at Kansas and with five NBA teams.
Pritchard will oversee all day-to-day basketball operations and player-personnel decisions in his new role.
"Kevin has repeatedly demonstrated his total dedication to producing a championship-caliber culture and performance for our players, both on and off the court," said Blazers' owner Paul Allen. "Kevin has been a part of winning championships in college, the minor leagues and the NBA. His reputation for assessing talent is known throughout the NBA, and we're quite fortunate to have watched him take his last few professional steps within our organization. He knows what it takes to bring a championship to Portland once again."